5 Social Media Lies

5 Lies Social Media { fill in the blank } Tell Their Clients

  1. “I’ve been doing this a long time.”
  2. “Do you have anything new going on?  That’s what we need to focus on.”
  3. “It’s okay that the folks in <xyz department> don’t ‘get’ social media. We don’t need them.”
  4. “I can have <your brand> up and running in no time.”
  5. “Once I’ve set everything up, its pretty minimal upkeep from there.”

First, the terms {“expert,” “guru,” “maven”} and the like just don’t belong in a job title.  Those terms may be how peers and the media choose to describe someone with notable accomplishments or credentials, but those are not positions we can claim for ourselves.  My brilliant sister is not an Accounting Expert or even a CPA Expert, although she certainly knows her stuff.  Ever heard of a CEO Expert? Bah. Plus, “long time” can, at the max, be like 3 years. Thinking in terms of a recent college graduate, 3 years job experience would place them in an entry-level role, yes?

Second, “new” may be sexy. “New” may be enticing, or even innovative.  But what’s new has limited power until considered in context with a brand’s history, its product lines, target audiences, year-over-year sales trends, competitive activity, focus group findings, and sales or share objectives.  I think my grandma called it “flash in the pan.”  You must take the time to do your homework, intelligently laying a framework of trust and value in order to build sustainable relationships with customers, irrespective of the communications channel (online or off).  You gotta have more than just ‘new’ to have staying power (and if your brand isn’t in it to stay, why be in it at all?)

Run away if you hear number three, far and fast.  Not only does setting up social media platforms – using the plethora of tools – require help from marketing, design, procurement, customer service, product management, even IT – but given the cultural impact and downstream effect of becoming a socialized business, it’s imperative that every member of the organization from warehousing to accounting understand the master plan (and you better have one!).  Confusion or ignorance can lead to dissention which affects attitudes and…you get the point.

Number four is tied to number three and clearly not a quick&easy endeavor.  Social media is not free, and it ain’t easy…unless you’re having a go at it without a master plan,  just clicking around on Facebook.

Fifth is connected to four and three (funny, this is starting to sound like something organized and intentional, like <gasp!> a plan).  Unless your strategy is along the lines of Woot (and hey, nod to them for what looks to be segmented sales-oriented channels and a conscientious decision to not attempt community with a transaction-driven brand), its going to continue to require a lot of work.  Monitoring sentiment, customer service, reputation management, awareness-building, etc. – whatever the focus, maintaining a social brand is hard work.  It’s like that all-in-one knife, and the tools are all being used at once.

Any more lies you’d add to this list?

6 Comments for: 5 Social Media Lies

B.J. Smith

“The rule of thumb is…” regarding proper ratio of self-promotional Tweets to other Tweets one should make.

There are too many variables to make a rule of thumb very relevant to an individual client.

I would be suspicious of anyone who claims to be an expert. Some might legitimately profess to be students of social media or even advanced practitioners or experienced guides if they can show some results.
.-= B.J. Smith´s last blog ..Scuba TV =-.



Spot on! To be successful, social media must be integrated not only into the marketing plan, but the company’s business plan. One-trick pony social media “gurus, experts & mavens” fail to take the whole picture into account. Thus, disappointed clients and repulsive results.



Susan, thanks for dropping by. I look at it from an “infusion” angle. From a business perspective, the decision to include social facets into an integrated plan requires education, understanding, training, reassessment, and evaluation. Essentially the same things good marketers should be doing regardless of the tactic, but all the more important because of the common misconceptions.


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